He Will Quiet You by His Love
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
We are all creatures of habit, are we not? We put milk into our cups before pouring tea or check the rear-view mirror of the car before driving off (not for car safety reasons, just to make sure the hair isn’t too windswept!), we have our favourite music artists we listen to over and over again, we sit in the same pews in church, and we even go to bed on the same side each night.
I’m no different to anyone else, but sometimes habit can get in the way of progress. Usually, at night, I need background noise in order to fall asleep, either the iPod playing softly or, more often than not, the BBC World Service. Why this channel? It’s simple enough - habit. I can recall my father listening to it when I was a child and the habit became ingrained, so now I find it hard to nod off without first hearing the dulcet tones of Neil Nunes proclaim, “And now, the Shipping Forecast”, followed by that wonderful tune, Sailing By. Once I know that no major hurricane or unforeseen weather disaster is going to hit the Hebrides in the next 24 hours, I can shut my eyes and sleep soundly (usually).
Last night, I discovered I had left the iPod in the car. Now, normally, I would have thrown on a jacket and slippers, and braved the midges in order to have my musical interlude, but no excuses, I couldn’t be bothered. Having spent a good part of the day up a ladder with a hammer and bolster, I was just too tired to move, even to stretch over and switch on the radio. At first, I lay in a semi-comatose state, but gradually, the quiet silence of a Saturday evening in Gress began to speak to me. More than just the soughing wind, I heard the heavy sigh of a dog, the creak of wood as the house settled comfortably for the night, the quiet tick of a clock, the distant cry of a lonely seagull, the answering song of a grey seal and, eventually, the steady beat of my own heart. That night, I slept to the soothing melody of silence.
Being quiet before God is like this - getting away from the noise and bustle of life, and allowing Him to speak to us. So many things intrude on our time and interfere with how well we can hear what our Father is saying to us. How many times do we kneel in prayer, end with Amen and, suddenly remembering an ‘essential’ task that remains undone, rush off without a backward glance? Would you go up to a dear friend, hold out your hand in greeting, but before they have time to respond, turn and walk away? We all need a reminder to be still and know that He is indeed God. Many times, He speaks loudest to us in the quiet hush, if only we have the faith to be silent and listen.
My favourite verse in the Bible comes from Zephaniah: “The Lord your God is in your midst. A mighty one who will save, He will rejoice over you with gladness; He will QUIET you by His love”.